This project investigates the immaterial, unpaid and unquantifiable work done by women: it visualizes—and at the same time recognizes—the tasks considered domestic or care work. These tasks are usually manipulated to establish professional hierarchies, and especially in the European context they disfigure certain dimensions of collective subjectivities including gender.
One Year Women’s Performance 2015-2016 is a project inspired by the action of One Year Performance 1980-1981 by Tehching Hsieh, where the Taiwanese artist took a photo of himself dressed in a uniform after clocking in each hour for a year, alluding to the impossibility of quantifying artistic work according to standard labour parameters, and reminding us that the artist’s production comprehends twenty-four hours a day. That is, the boundaries between art and life are fragile every day, and sometimes, non-existent.
In contrast, Raquel Friera’s twelve female citizens comprise a certain feminine and collective figure. For a month, each of these women “clocks in” and takes a photo of herself after completing a task in her own home that is considered domestic or care-taking work. Moreover, she makes audio recordings of the times when said work extends beyond the material dimension, for example, the time dedicated to planning activities or being available at occasional gatherings at the home, in essence, documenting the non-quantifiable nature of the larger part of her responsibilities.
With One Year Women’s Performance 2015-2016, Friera shifts a work in art history to revisit it from a gender perspective and the problems of the current economy. She looks into the unpaid work realised by women, visualising and recognising all these essential tasks for our personal development throughout our lives and for the work of the capitalist machine. In another sense, the project gives proof that, in the European context, where the production of the immaterial reigns, certain dimensions of the collective subjectivities, among them, gender, are manipulated for the purposes of establishing hierarchies among different professions, in this case, between artistic work and domestic or care-taking work.